I just finished getting a dental implant about two weeks ago. It’s been quite a process, first having the procedure to get the post in and waiting for it to heal. Now, having the tooth on there is nice, although I have had some pain there the past two days. It’s not the same pain as the actual implant healing, but it hurts just the same. I can’t eat on it. I don’t remember eating anything particularly hard on it within the last few days to aggravate it. Should I just ride this out as a normal part of implant healing or should I see an emergency dentist before it gets worse?
Mary, Portland, Maine
If it was just a regular tooth that was starting to hurt out of the blue, you could wait and schedule an appointment with your dentist to get it checked, but where you just had an implant there, it warrants a trip to the emergency dentist. You may have an infection. Especially where you can’t eat on it, it’s better safe than sorry to get it checked.
How bad can an infection be?
The reason infection is worrisome, especially in your scenario, is that it can affect all the work you just had done with your implant. If the infection is severe enough, you may have to have the post taken out. In some cases, if the infection has spread and affected the jaw bone that anchors the post, a bone graft is necessary before the process can start all over, with all the healing time again in between steps.
Aside from being painful and uncomfortable, if infection is left unchecked, any infection, it can spread. Once it spreads to the heart or if it reaches the brain, it becomes a matter of life or death. That’s why early detection and taking care of infection with medication is so important.
Speaking to the dentist you have been working with on your implant about your pain would be the best. Many offices have after-hours or even a dental emergency number. If you can’t talk to anyone there within a few hours, schedule an appointment with an emergency dentist.
This post is sponsored by Dr. Ryan Perry at Baton Rouge Family Dentist in Louisianna.